May 29, 2012 by eric echols
My three children are fascinated with animals. Recently we checked out a book about baby animals that was full of amazing facts about all kinds of creatures. One of the discoveries that I found most interesting had to do with baby ducks and how they imprint.
When baby ducks hatch, they imprint on the first living creature they see that is larger than itself. Whether it’s another duck, a dog, a cow, or a person, baby ducks thinks it is their mother and they believe that they are its baby. And you thought this kind of thing only happened in “Tom and Jerry” cartoons? But it is true, God created baby ducks to imprint on another creature so that it is always the first thing the duckling thinks about and the most important being in the duckling’s world. Ducklings look to them for protection, provision, and to teach them how to live.
#1 Thing We Do
As I read this, I thought that this is the #1 thing we do as parents. We are called by God to help our children imprint on their Heavenly Father. In Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Moses tells us to impress, or imprint, our children with a love for God.
Love the Lord Your God. As we lead our kids to imprint upon God, we are teaching them to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. As children learn to love God they will have the basis to know who God is and what God is like.
God Takes First Place. They will begin to see God as the most important being in the world and He will be the first thing they think about. When children imprint on God they begin to look to Him for protection, provision, and to teach them how to live.
I believe Moses clearly lays out a plan to imprint kids with a love for God in Deuteronomy 6. He tells us to “impress them upon our children.” The Hebrew word here is shanan, which means “to instill by persistent instruction.” The idea is that in everything we do, we guide our children to love God and put Him first through persistent reinforcement.
How do you use reinforcement to instill a love for God in your kids lives? Please leave your comments below.